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Us 39, America 27, Africa 23, China 21, Washington 20, United States 14, U.s. 13, Newtown 11, Coburn 6, United States Senate 6, Durbin 5, Connecticut 5, Machin 5, Algeria 5, Toomey 4, Hartford 4, Madam 4, Nebraska 4, Tucson 4, John Boehner 4,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    April 11, 2013
    12:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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subcommittee in senate foreign relations. john boozman, ben cardin, mary landrieu have join us in this bipartisan effort. we expect representative chris smith and karen bass will soon introduce companion legislation in the house. this is a very straightforward, commonsense piece of legislation. it's about creating jobs, american jobs. every $1 billion of exports from america supports over 5,000 jobs. this bill seeks to expand u.s. exports specifically to africa. by 200% in real dollar value over the next ten years. the african market is ripe for greater american commercial engagement. in the past ten years, people don't believe this, but they should take a look at the facts, in the past ten years, six of the world's fastest growing economies were located in sub-saharan africa. in the next decade, seven of the
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top ten will be in sub-saharan africa. the mental image which most americans have of africa is completely out of date. africa is growing not only in population but in economic activity, and the middle-class of africa is growing as well. their appetite for goods and services puts an opportunity before us to export from america and to create good jobs in our country with exports to africa. in the last decade, the number of africans with access to the internet has doubled. from 1998 to today, the number of mobile phones on the continent have grown from four million to 500 million. 78% of africa's rural population now has access to clean water. over the last ten years, real income per person in africa has increased by more than 30%. positive health outcomes are increasing. enrollment in school is growing. these are signs of a growing
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middle class and what the world bank has called the brink of an economic takeoff in africa. as my colleague and friend senator coons has noted in a report he recently released on the topic, economic growth in africa has risen dramatically in recent years. the continent's vast economic potential has not yet been fully realized by the united states government or the american people. that report from senator coons couldn't have been more timely and more accurate as far as i'm concerned. i can tell you american companies are eager to get into the african market. they should be. but they often face a private finance system that's stuck thinking about africa through the prism of the past. wars, famines, strong men dictators. i have met with these company leaders, large and small companies alike, and they tell me the same thing -- the u.s. doesn't have a coordinated strategy for africa. others do. china and others are gaining a foothold in africa at the expense of our workers. yesterday, the ambassador from
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algeria came to see me. it's a country that has a fascinating background, colonized like most of the countries in africa, and went through a stormy period of independence in the 1960's and has french roots. the ambassador said we pride ourselves, we believe we speak better french than the people living in france. that's their past. and i asked him about their future and i said what is the presence of china in algeria today? he said whoa, it's a growing presence. when it comes to the infrastructure of algeria, it's china that's playing a major role, it's china that's loaning the money to algeria to build the roads and the bridges and the airports. but there's a catch. do you want to borrow the money from china? there will be chinese architects, chinese engineers, chinese contractors and half of the work force will be chinese. and pretty soon, they become part of algeria. and the next time there is a decision, whether it's for a telecommunications system,
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whatever it might be, you can get the chinese with a history of working with the algerian government will be first in line. they know what's happening here. africa is developing its economy and they are part of it. they see africa from two or three different perspectives. first, obviously, it's an opportunity to sell things, it's a market. second, it can provide basic resources and energy needed by the chinese. and third, as the middle class grows in each of these countries, the appetite for more and more economic activity will grow. there was a time when america knew that, too. there was a time when we visited the four corners of the world looking for these same opportunities. well, we're sitting back now and watching, and as we watch, china is moving. as i have said many times, the u.s. system of export, promotion and finance is so poorly coordinated that it's a shame that we're losing so many opportunities. we have dozens of government
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agencies that are supposed to be working on this problem. i called many of them in my office. it was the first time some of them had met one another. they are supposed to be working together. this bill that we're introducing will fix it. it would require a coordinated government strategy to help increase u.s. exports to africa. responsibility for overseeing the implementation of this strategy would be vested in a single position, one coordinator. no more agencies tripping over one another, no more competing priorities. every day we delay, china and i might add india and others will fill the void if america doesn't step forward. since 2009, china has been africa's largest trading partner. it flooded the continent with billions of dollars, building high-profile construction projects. often the assistance comes with -- in the form of concessional loans, loans that frankly suggest you can borrow $100 million, you only have to
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pay back $70 million. that practice distorts markets, it puts our companies and america at a disadvantage. between 2008 and 2010, china provided more to the developing world than the world bank, to the tune of $110 billion. currently, china's exports to africa outnumber america's 3-1. the chinese get it. shouldn't america? through this engagement, the chinese are becoming major players all over africa. i defy you to find a country in africa where the chinese are not already a part of the economy and part of the economic conversation. recently, senegal's president told president obama exactly that in a meeting at the white house, arguing the west should pay as much attention to africa as china does. now, i have heard the same thing firsthand, not just from the algerian ambassador but from the former president of ethiopia. across the continent, it's the same question. where is the united states?
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this bill answers that question. no longer would africans wonder why american companies weren't doing business there. the bill bolsters u.s. government ability to support these companies, maintains a solid presence of u.s. commercial foreign service officers. it's going to help small and medium businesses in the united states compete in africa. it will increase the focus of export-import bank, giving it greater incentive to aggressively counter these concessional loans. it will help the export-import bank and the overseas private investment corporation more quickly process applications so we can be competitive. now, last congress, we almost passed this bill. you would almost think it's a no-brainer, but unfortunately we didn't. one senator objected. he had the courage to come to the floor and voice his objections, and i appreciate that very much, but at the same time on the other side of the aisle senators johnson, baucus, coburn and corker were working with me to pass the bill, so we haven't been able to make this a
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successful bipartisan effort. i think the united states can't stand by the sidelines. just to say we believe in a market economy, get the government out of the picture is to overlook the obvious. the chinese government is in the picture, and they are running circles around american companies because of it. in thinking about the issue, we must also not ignore the interests of the africans themselves, something sometimes our competitors don't focus on. chinese engagement comes with a price. china gobbles up natural resources that are needed many times for that growing domestic economy. the transportation projects, as i mentioned, often come with chinese professionals, architects and engineers and workers. when local labor is used, african workers often suffer poor labor standards if the chinese are in charge. environmental standards are ignored, and they should be a priority all over the world. you also have to factor in the cost of having to replace products and goods much sooner because, sadly, the chinese
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workmanship as well as the quality of their goods doesn't match what the united states can bring. i also want to mention a growing problem that stems from china's presence in africa. that is the resurgence of elephant poaching and ivory trafficking. several recent "new york times" articles have highlighted it. tens of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered. you may say well, i thought we solved this a few years ago with a worldwide ivory ban. it turns out ivory is so popular in the chinese culture and part of its burgeoning population, one item is sought as the ultimate status symbol in china -- ivory. reports are that as much as 70% of the ivory harvested from slaughtered elephants is smuggled to china. in fact, there is growing evidence that ivory poaching actually increases in elephant-rich areas where the chinese construction workers are building roads. even more troubling, the chinese demand for ivory funds some of the most despicable actors in africa. much of the proceeds from the
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illegal ivory trade ended up in the hands of joseph kony and his murderous group, the lord's resistance army. i recently went to uganda and met two of the victims of joseph kony. he is a madman. he has used his beautific visions to generate an army of slaves, literally soldier slaves. i met one of them, a young man who was dragged out of his african village in uganda. everybody was lined up in the village as kony and his soldiers stood around with their automatic weapons. they said to this young man, you're going to join our army here or we're going to kill you. before you join the army, though, there is one thing we have to ask you. who would you spare among the members of your family here? we're going to kill the rest of them. which one would you spare? the young man said after some hesitation, my father. they walked over and killed his father first.
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that's the kind of ruthless madman we're dealing with in joseph kony. and believe me, president obama has really put a target on his back. we are going after this man. we have driven him out of uganda. we believe he is in the central africa republic. i saw firsthand while visiting there what we are doing to make sure his rein of -- reign of terror comes to an end quickly. it turns out kony's reign of terror has been fed by the chinese demand for ivory. he is poaching the elephants, slaughtering them in the area and using this ivory to keep his men in arms and their reign of terror continue. the increasing american jobs through greater exports to africa act is something everyone should support. it's good for the u.s. company, helps u.s. businesses create jobs, is good for u.s. foreign policy, keeps america in a position of global leadership, and it's good for the people of africa. by making superior american
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products and services the standard in their future. i urge my colleagues to sign on to support this important effort. while we wait and do nothing, the chinese are acting every single day and america is falling further and further behind in africa. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: madam president, i rise today to thank senator durbin of illinois for his leadership on these vital issues. you just heard in the comments he has made the reach and scope of his vision. i am just so impressed with the breadth and depth of his engagement. first, on behalf of american workers, because he recognizes so clearly that 95% of the world's consumers live outside our country and we have to have a coordinated, capable, competent export strategy in order to continue to access the most promising, most rapidly growing markets in africa. the 54 countries of the continent of africa provide
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enormous opportunity as their growing middle class, increasing access to their human and mineral and natural resources create opportunities for us to grow jobs here in the united states. nearly 10 million good jobs today are supported in the united states by exports to the rest of the world. as senator durbin has wisely seen and pointed out, our competitors are beating us in the race to access these great opportunities. the chinese, the brazillians, the russians, the indians. in every continent -- country on the continent, they are growing. senator durbin has recognized that china has eclipsed the united states as the leading trade partner for africa, and there are real consequences for africans and for african countries. sadly often chinese investments bring with them chinese contractors, workers and a different approach to values, priorities in terms of development, a lack of focus on transparency, on human rights, on the environment, and as he detailed in his comments today,
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the consequences can even be so far-reaching as conservation and the impact on wildlife and the ultimate consequences of supporting the worst actors on the continent, folks such as joseph kony. but let me turn if i might briefly to the bill which i am proud to cosponsor with him today which focuses on trying to ensure that the more than 10 u.s. government agencies responsible for export promotion have a coordinated strategy. one of the principal points of his bill which i am proud to cosponsor challenges the executive branch to sustain and increase our investment in the foreign commercial service, to sustain an increase in resources through things like opec and ex-im and asks the executive branch to create a coordinator to ensure that all of this is done responsibly and in a cost-effective way. other things that i mentioned in the trade report which senator durbin was kind enough to quote and to reference are that in the united states, we have an enormous african community which
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can be strategically vital as american businesses seek to access these growing opportunities across the continent of africa. we also look to bolster support for agencies that finance u.s. commercial engagement overseas. our competitors, particularly the chinese, have a very different approach to finance and the united states need to better coordinate and align to enact legislation. the goal set in this legislation is a 200% increase is an ambitious goal, a 200% increase in u.s. exports to africa in the necessary ten years. but if we were to accomplish this goal in a cost-effective way through more responsibly coordinating the investments we're already making in these federal agencies that can better coordinate u.s. private-sector efforts, think of how many jobs we might create, think of how many countries we might connect better to the united states, think of how many towns and workplaces across this country would been fit. senator durbin, i just want to
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thank you today for your leadership, for the clarity of your vision, for the breadth of your engagement and for the investment of time. someone in his position has so many other issues which he could be investing his time on, but over his entire service here in the senate of the united states, he's been passionate about clean water for the continent of africa and passionate about high-quality jobs for the workers of the united states. in this bill he finds a way to make good on both of those passions, improving the lives of africans across a growing continent and improving the lives of workers across our nation. thank you, sir, for your leadership and i am proud to join you today in cosponsoring this reintroduced bipartisan, soon-to-be bicameral commonsense bill. let's hope that all of our colleagues take it up and pass it in this congress. thank you. and with that, madam president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until
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2:30 p.m. a move closer to debate on the bill. after the vote this morning, major i leader harry reid which includes background checks on firearm sales will be one of the first taken up. again the senate recessing this afternoon starting now until 2:30 for a joint caucus. senators there to expected to discuss the way forward on pending legislation. we'll show you some of their debate from earlier today in just a couple of minutes.
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you have been tweeting us and we've been receiving your tweets on some of the debate that has been going on and the votes in the senate. mac and cheese said common sense said you should start enforce the law on the books not pass more laws that would not stop criminals. christina said you're turning our country to the most violent country on earth. enact it now. we should be concerned with the national death and knot korea and not gun control. again, it's hashtag guncontrol. we will bring you reaction from house speaker john john boehner at 1:15 eastern during the weekly legislative briefing. house minority leader namp nancy pelosi. while the break is diswrurndway in the senate. we'll go back to earlier today and look at the debate beginning with connecticut senator blumenthal during the remarks
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referred to the parents of victims of the new town shooting in the senate today. as debate was underway. >> mr. president, thank you. we are on the verge of a historic vote that will determine whether we make america safer and assure that we do everything possible as senators and citizens to ensure there are no more newtowns. on the evening of december 14, when we left the fire house at sandy hook, there was a vigil at a church in newtown, saint rose of lima, presided over by father bob, who is monsignor a moving
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and powerful experience. the church was filled. people stood at the windows to hear what was going on. the governor spoke and so did i. i said that evening the world is watching newtown, and in fact the world was watching newtown as we knew from the horror of that afternoon when many of us arrived at the church, and first at the fire house to see families emerges and learning for the first time that their children, their babies would not be coming home that evening. it was an experience that will stay with me forever. the sights and sounds that of that afternoon filled with grief and pain will never leave me. the world was watching newtown
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that day and that evening and has watched newtown and connecticut in the dais and months -- days and months since. i have been privileged to spend many hours, days, weeks and the past months with the families. the world has watched the families and it has seen in them and in newtown a great community. a new edged town, the strength and courage that was unimaginable as the horror of that day, strength and courage that represents what is good about america. and what is strong and courageous about our nation. the world has watched newtown and the families of newtown and it has watched connecticut. now the world is watching the united states senate. it is watching the senate to see
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whether democracy works. it sounds simp but it's true. will democracy work reflect the majority of the united states of america? the majority of our people who say we need to do something about the guns. that is what the families said to me that day and in days since. what people in connecticut and across the country have said to their senators. we must do something about gun violence. i remember talking to one of the families that evening and saying, you know, when you're ready, we ought to talk about what we can do to stop gun violence in measures in the united states congress and she said to me, i'm ready now. the united states senate must be ready now to act. it must keep faith with those
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families and victims as the world watches with benjamin andrew wheeler, age 6. his father david is here today and he's here in spirit as we decide in the united states senate today whether we will move forward for progress. anna grace marquez green, also age 6, her mother is here today and she is with us in spirit. dill lan -- diel dylan hawkly, age 6 whose mother is here. and jesse lewis, age 6. his father neil is here. mary sherlock, one of the six educators killed at sandy hook
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elementary school whose husband bill is here. jesse mary are here with us too. and we know that comprise and action are possible because two of our colleagues have forced a bipartisan comprise that will enable us to come closer. it is imperfect, it is less than what i would have preferred in achieving universal background check, it is a starting point, it's a step in the right direction. it will help us achieve a larger bipartisan comprise because background checks are only one part of a comprehensive strategy that must include a ban on illegal trafficking,
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strengthening school safety, as well as mental health initiatives and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. i will be privileged to spearhead that effort on high capacity magazines hopefully next week after today's vote along with colleagues such as dianne feinstein and my colleague chris murphy. today, let us decide as the world watches. there will be no more newtowns. that's what the families want. that's what america wants. let us resolve that we will make democracy work as we go beyond this first step, and decide to proceed on a bill that also is imperfect but provides a starting point.
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provides a way forward so we can make our communities safer. the families of newtown have performed an extraordinary service to our nation. not only has the world watched and been inspired by their strength and courage, but they have turned the tide. they have visited with our colleagues, and they have impacted this process more profoundly and more directly than any other single group. they have shown that we can break the strangle hold of special interest and the nra, that speaking truth to power still works. and to them, we owe a special thanks. to them, as a nation, we owe a
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depth of gratitude for the lives that will be saved for the futures that will be given. even if their children and their loved ones will not enjoy that future, they have given futures to countless americans who will be saved from the surge of gun violence. to them, i say thank you. they are in this building, and their children, their loved ones, are with us today in spirit as we take this historic step. >> mr. president, earlier this week, i spoke about the senate to consider legislation to help increase america's safety. by reducing gun violence. i came of the floor of the
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senate and i urged my fellow senators to abandon efforts to filibuster proceeding to this bill. the senate should not have to overcome a filibuster to respond to the call for action and response to gun violence they are experiencing. mr. president, i have the privilege of being the longest serving member of this body, and i have watched debate on so many issues. there is ever an issue all 100 should vote yes or no, it's here. i was encouraged by the comment of the number of senate republicans they are prepared to debate this matter and will not support this wrong headed filibuster. even the "the wall street journal" editorialized the filibuster yesterday. -- "g.o.p. gun control
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misfire." i don't agree with much of that editorial. ly quote this, "conservatives want to prove their gun control -- the way to do it is debate, merit, and vote on the floor. senator is building a small minority of republicans is seeking to prevent the senate from even considering. the bill has three parts, none of them threaten second amendment rights. none of them call for gun confiscation or gun -- or government registry. in fact, two of the three parts have always had bipartisan support and with regard to the third component, the provisions closing law loophole in the current background check system senators machin and too toomey
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announce they'll have a bipartisan as well. and senator colins from maine, the senior senator from maine and i were able to announce another step. and we previously been engaged in discussions with law enforcement and victims groups. more recently we have been engaged in discussions with the national rifle association, we agreed on modifications to stop illegal trafficking firearm act that addresses the concerns. as we always want to do providing law enforcement officials with the tools they need to investigate and prosecute illegal gun trafficking and purchasing. senator colins and i are both strong supporters and advocate of second amendment rights for law-abiding americans. it seems absurd that some senators, nonetheless, persist
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in filibustering legislation of our bill. we, the american people, expect us to stand up and face our responsibilities whether we like having to vote or not, we have an oath of office to uphold the constitution to uphold our laws, and congress has to confront the serious role the straw purchasing and gun trafficking supplying criminals with firearm for illegal purposes. it's not enough to stand on the floor of the senate and say you're prolaw enforcement. let us take as a given everybody is pro-law enforcement but then give law enforcement the tools they need.
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the bipartisan -- stop illegal trafficking firearm act creates specific statutes prohibiting the trafficking and straw purchasing of firearms. it will also strengthen other law enforcement tools to assist those investigating these crimes. it's a common-sense response to help with the fight against gun violence and help law enforcement. that is why law enforcement strongly supports that bill. yet some are seeking to filibuster it. let them go to law enforcement groups and say they're trying to block them and take away the tools they need to keep every one of us safe. congress should be confronting the serious role of the straw purchase and gun trafficking supplying criminals with firearms for illegal purposes. not ducking the issue.
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stand up and be counted. stand up and be counted. don't get speeches here saying you're in favor of law enforcement or take away tools law enforcement needs. stand up and be counted. stand up and be counted. we can all agree that criminals and those mentally ill should not buy firearms. why should we not try to plug the law school -- loophole in the law buying guns without background checks. stand up and be counted. the simple matter of common sense. if we agree to background check system is worthwhile, should we not try to inform the content and use -- so it can be more effective. what responsible gun owner objects to improving the background check system? stand up and be counted. at the january hearing i pointed out that wayne lapierre
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testified in 1999 in favor of mandatory criminal background checks as he put it every sale at every gun sale. he went open to support for the closing loophole and the background check system in saying what has become -- no loophole anywhere for anyone. of course, his commons sense closed the gun show loophole. the senate voted to do so? in 1999. she should vote to do so again. this time we should get it enacted. that's one of the way of the bipartisan proposals from senators machin and toomey improve the law. conceal and conceive filibuster and get to the bill. americans across this great country are looking to us for solutions and for action, not
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filibustering. americans are saying, stand up and be counted. i -- in january asking senators on both sides of the aisle to join and discuss this part of the collective effort and fine solutions to ensure that no family, no school, no community ever has to endure the kind of tragedy families in newtown and aurora, tucson, blacksburg, or columbine had to suffer. as everyone -- emphasized throughout the committee process, the second amendment is secure. it's going remain secure and protected as part of my oath of office as senator. in two recent cases the supreme
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court confirmed the second amendment like the other aspect of our bill of rights secures a fundamental individual right and americans have a right to self-defense and the right have guns in their own protective families. no one is going take away these rights or these guns. seconds amendment rights are the foundation which our discussion are at risk. they are not at risk. but what is at risk? cannot close our eyes to what is at risk. lives are at risk when responsible people fail to set up the laws to keep the guns out hands of those who are used them to commit mass murder. so i ask my fellow senators, focus our discussion and debate on these proposed statutory measures intended to better protect our children and all
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americans. a free society, an open society, a wonderful society. we should be coming together as elected represents of all of the american people and consider how to become a sacred and more secure society. i would hope that all senators in both parties join together to strengthen the law enforcement efforts against gun violence and protect public safety. let's focus on a responsibility the american people. we are the hundred people -- there are only 100 senators. we are e elected to representative more than 314 million americans. that is an awesome responsibility. let's stand up to that responsibility, we are accountable to those people.
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we are not accountable to the special interest groups on neertd the right or the left. we are accountable to 314 million americans. special interests lobbiests on either the left or the right should not dictate what we do. we do not need a lobby's permission to pass laws to fight crime and improve public safety. that's the power of responsibility. i urge to be less concerned with special interest score cards and more focus on fulfilling our oath to faithfully danger the duty of our office as united states senators. i can consider myself a responsible gun owner, but i'm also someone who cherishes all of our institution -- constitutional rights. as a senator, senator whose sworn an oath to uphold those
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rights, as a father and a grandfather, as a former prosecutor who has seen the results of gun violence firsthand, i have been working to build consensus common sense solutions. i'm prepared to debate on the measures before us and challenge other senators to do the same. do the same. stand up and be counted. stand up and be counted. filibuster says you're not willing to take a stand you vote maybe. stand up and be counted. have the courage. stand up and be counted. and then let us work together to make america safer, all americans. mr. president, i yield the floor
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and suggest the absence of a quorum. the clerk will call the role. -- roll. mr. president, senator from texas. >> mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be rescinded. >> without objection. >> mr. president, yesterday i had the solemn privilege of meeting with some of the families who lost loved ones in the sandy hook elementary school shooting. as a father, i can hardly going comprehend enormous grief that
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these individuals have suffered losing such a young child or a spouse or a mother in an act of what would appear to be such senseless violence. burying your child is something that no parent should have to do. the friends and families -- the families and friends of the victims of sandy hook uphold the dignity and respect the transparent, a good-faith effort to address gun violence. i do believe there is a common ground upon which republicans and democrats can come together. the issue of mental health of the gun owner is that common
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ground, for me. along with enforcing current laws that are on the books. if there's one thread that connects the horrific series of gun violence episodes in our country, particularly in recent times, it is the mental illness of a shooter. in every case, the perpetrator's mental illness should have been detected, and in some instances it was detected but not reported. and these individuals should never be allowed access to to a gun. this is actually something we can and should do something about. we need make sure that the mentally ill are getting the help they need not guns. as i said, this is something that i believe all of us can
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agree on in response to the tragedy at virginia tech in 2007, the united states senate and the congress anonymously passed a measure to bolster mental health reporting requirements on background checks. some states like mine, texas, have received high marks for their compliance. but many states have essentially been noncompliant and the department of justice has failed to adequately backup implementation of the law. so essentially the law we passed in the wake of the virginia tech shooting can require reporting of people who actually adjudicated mentally ill in their respective states is not working the way it should. rather than just string along an ineffective program, i think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to fix it. we should fix it.
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i want to say just a word though about symbolism versus solutions. i'm not interested in congress voting on a measure that would have no impact on the or risk violence we -- horrific violation we have seen in recent months. i'm not interested in a symbolic gesture which would offer the families the sandy hook shooting no real solutions that they seek. to a person they told me they're not political, they don't come with an agenda, they're not asking us to pass a specific piece of legislation. they want to know that their loved one did not die in vain. and that something good can come out of these -- this terrible tragedy. so i think dealing with this mental health reporting issue is a common ground we can come
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together on. we also need to make sure that we're not just going pass additional laws that will not be enforced. what possible sol lis could that be to these families for congress just to pass additional laws that will never be enforced? take, for example, the national instant criminal background check system, the nic system as it's called which flags people who lie, who lie on the background check. the annual number of cases referred from prosecution fell sharply during the first two years of the president's -- the current president's term of office. indeed there was a 58% drop in referrals and 70% drop in prosecution's. for people who lie. who lie on the background check. we can fix this. we can fix this.
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let's make sure that guns aren't getting to the hands of people who we all agree should not have them. question be doing this right now with broad bipartisan support. but let he conclude with a couple of observations where we find ourselves with the 11:00 vote on an ununderlying bill that remains controversial and which, i think, the majority leader and all of us know has very little chance, if any, of going anywhere. we heard yesterday that our colleagues from west virginia and ohio have come together on a bipartisan background check bill. i asked my staff as recently on my way over here whether that had actually been released the language so we can read out and find out what is in it. it has not. we have no commitment in front
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of what the senate by the majority leader there will be a robust debate and amendment process because there are a lot of amendments that need to be offered to whatever that so far unwritten bill says. i'm sure, and we need to have a full, robust, transparent discussion of this issue in front of the american people. so i'm not going to vote to proceed to a bill that has not yet been written no matter how well intentioned it may be. we need to make sure what we do is address the cause of this violence and to come up not with symbolic gestures that will no impact or to pass other laws who will not be enforced but to come together with real solutions.
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rather than to put on a show, and pat ourselves on the back, and call it a day,let do something good to make sure we have done everything in our human capacity to prevent another sandy hook. this is what these families want. this is what they deserve. and this is what the american people deserve. now this calls the united states senate to exercise itself historic and essential role in bringing all sides together to try to come up with solutions, but if we can't do that here, we can't do that now, when will we ever address this tragedy? the president has told some of these victims' family that side
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of the aisle doesn't care about their loss. that's not true. it's false. the president is wrong. all of us care about these families, and all all of us should care about violence in our communities, and we should try to work together to find ways to address this. not in a symbolic sort of way, but the a real way that offers a solution, and maybe just a little bit of progress on this issue that would allow these families to say, no, my loved one did not die in vain. something good came out of this. we want to work together to find real solutions to this type of
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senseless inexomp -- incomprehensible violence that has taken too many lives. i hope we will. and that debate from earlier today after that senate lawmakers voted to move forward with the debate on the firearm bill. the vote was 68-31. 60 votes needed to proceed to the vote. 16 republicans voted in favor two democracies voted against. all independents voted in favor. the senate in recess this afternoon. and they'll be back at 2:30 eastern while the recess is underway. they are joining with members across the aisle for a joint session, and a joint lunch that is. they are expected to discuss some of the pending legislation and moving forward on that. some of your tweets that have come in on gun control and on gun legislation kim tweets, your gun rights stop at my child. americans are looking to us for
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solutions. senator lea i'm not. and david, tweets want to watch me alienate everyone. we own guns. i'm also a giant supporter of increased gun control. it's possible. your tweets coming in at hash tag gun control. remieshed coming up at 1:15 eastern we'll have live coverage of john boehner's briefing and following that will be house minority leader nancy pelosi. we'll have live coverage at c-span2. while we wait earlier today jeffrey the acting districter of office and management budget deafed about the 2014 budget. >> i want to commend the president for bringing a budget that however was 65-days late, the law of the land states the president presents a budget on the first monday of february,
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and the president of his administration did not do so. one would have thought had he taken that much time he would have presented a budget that actually balanced. he had the extra time to do so. sadly, that's not what the budget does. it increases taxes, increases spending. same thing we have seen before. increases debt, increases dependents, sadly, on the federal government. grows government and doesn't grow the economy. worst of all, from our perspective, it doesn't really solve the challenges that need to be solved to get this economy growing again. and get jobs being created. if we can bring up the first slide there. this is gross debt as a percent of gdp in the president's proposal. the president's budget. always note -- note always staying above the 90% level throughout the 10-year budget window. you'll recall from the study
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unless one gets below that 90% level, many believe it should be lower. the economies don't turn around. and sadly, again, the president's budget proposal simply does not address the challenges we face. there is all sorts of other misinformation i want to have time to correct. i want to ask a couple particular questions. first, i assume the president would like to see his budget pass by congress. is that accurate? >> yes. >> that being the case . >> have an opportunity to comment on the chart. >> at some point, i'm sure you will. [laughter] >> okay. >> that being the case, my time is limited. that being the case, would the administration be willing to submit in the form of a budget resolution the president's budget? >> i think that right now we have heard from all of you and we believe you should return to regular order. it sounds like from the opening
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comments there's no progress in doing so. and the rig order is the way to proceed here. >> the reason i ask in the past we have attempted to allow the public to see the level of support for the president's budget and been accused of not writing it in the way that the president's budget would have been written. so we would love to see a budget resolution from the administration. we would like to to be able to have a and vote on the house of representatives. >> we're respectful what we've heard. return to regular order. >> we would love to have it be part of the regular order. the president said he has met republicans more than halfway. the ranking member said this morning. it increases debt significantly. we move in the opposite direction. the president's budget increases the deficit significantly on current law. we move in opposite direction to balance in a ten-year period of time. it increases taxes. we not increase taxes.
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that's hardly meeting republicans halfway. as the chairman said, it's wonderful rhetoric, but it's simply not true. is it? >> well, the -- i'm forwarding the comprise offer which includes $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction. cpi which is something the president would not. it's in speaker bainers' request. the president is willing to do that as a part of a deal as long as we have the conditions i mentioned earlier. >> it's an important point. that is absolutely critical we understand that $1.8 trillion is a comprised offer. >> it's an important point. cpi is not what we would select as a solution for the challenges that we face. >> the president's -- what he thinks we would like. >> it's something speaker --
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baner and leader mcconnell asked several times. and you asked for the medicare age raised from 67 to 65. it's something the president is not willing to do. >> my last thirty-second about medicare. your budget proposes $3 74 billion in gross reduction in medicare spending. $30 7 is further providers. how long do you think that this administration can cut payment to physicians and still have them see patients? >> well, there are opportunities to make health care more efficient. there are opportunities to incent providers to not have readmission. there's opportunity to bundle payment to align incentive. there are opportunities to make sure that we get the same prices on drugs in medicare that we get in medicaid. so there are opportunities to make our system more efficient. and we should be taking advantage of those opportunities to maintain medicare as we know it. not turn to a voucher system.
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>> our proposal does not do that effective rate of choices for patients. testimony from earlier today his second day on the hill discussing the president's budget. you can see this and other events with acting omd director at c-span.org. coming up house speaker john boehner hold the weekly legislative briefing. we'll have live coverage here. expected to get underway in five minutes at 1:15. until then discussion on gun control from today's "washington journal." and here is the front page of the "usa today" this morning. the gun vote, the article cowritten by reporter gregory of "usa today." and what is happening in the senate? in just a few minutes? >> guest: they'll come to session than have to wait at least an hour to have a cloture vote to have a -- it's a
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procedure vote. it's probably one of the most watched we have had in a long time. it's a vote on a motion to proceed to debate on the gun bill. it's attempt to get around a threatened filibuster by conservative republicans on the bill. it's closely watched because the nra said it's going score it. it's going take the vote in account as it gives members of the senate their letter grades and advances on the next election. it's being closely watched because it's a key hurdle to get to any kind of bill. if we get 60 votes there. we're on to what would could be a week's long debate on the gun bill thatcom out of the judiciary committee but also any number of amendments that will be presented by senators over the next few days. >> host: and the machin-toomey it's an amendment. . glg there was a hope it could
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get out ahead of the bill and be a stand alone bill. at this point in the process, the only way is an amendment majority leader harry reid said it will be the first amendment amendment number one. it's frankly the amendment that makes all the other amendments possible. because this is seen as a breakthrough that will allow enough republicans to see that there's some room for comprise that they're comfortable voting this morning to allow debate to proceed. >> host: now gregory, if they don't goat 60 votes, if the democrats do not file cloture or able to get it what happens? >> guest: harry reid said he's going continue to hammer away at the issue and seek further cloture votes down the line. essentially force the republicans to a filibuster. the reason why an modern senate history filibusters usually are threatened and never really happened. the threat of a filibuster can stop consideration of a bill.
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harry reid is calling the bliewf. he's going don't push the bill and if republicans want to filibuster. he's going make them don't floor and filibuster. >> host: is there a plan by republicans to filibuster. >> guest: when you say republicans you are talking about -- >> host: individual members. >> guest: exactly. the three most watched are rand paul of kentucky, mike lee of utah, and ted cruz of texas. those are the ones that have been talking filibuster most lately. although in the past couple of days, they had a intha more nuanced state model. what they say they're not trying to block a vote. they want to extend the debate. they think the issue of important as the second amendment as important of gun rights deserves a drawn out debate in the senate. every amendment gets a good back and forth and good discussion. the problem we have right now, they say, we have really kind of a skeleton bill that we don't know what amendments are going
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to be offered. we don't know what the final is going look like. they say they are justified in drawing it out as long as possible so people can understand it. >> host: we read an article earlier this morning about senator coburn calling this machin-toomey amendment unmarkble. so should we keep an eye how he votes on cloture as well. >> guest: yes. >> host: vote to proceed even though against the bill? >> guest: it's an interesting player in this. before there was a machin-toomey amendment. there was the prospect of a machin-coburn amendment. he was talking to senator coburn for a number of days or a week to see if they could reach a comprise. coburn backed out saying any kind of background checks scheme he thought was going to be unworkable. even yesterday senators toomey and machin went out of their way to compliment senator coburn for his help from this.
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for his insight being help to feel the process and couple of hours later senator coburn released a statement saying he's against the amendment that he had so much input on. what it means in terms how he's going vote on the proceed yurm vote is anybody's guess. as of late last night there was a lot of senates say they need to see more about the amendment and take it under consideration. >> host: senators machin and toomey are two sponsors. senator kirk and schumer are cosponsors. why were they not at the press conference. >> guest: so you to ask them but certainly toomey and machin are the more interest pro-gun member can help breakthrough to some senators who support gun rights. they have a. ratings from the nra. schumer and kirk don't. kirk has a d. or f rating. they may not be the best faces
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for an amendment that is intended to try to win over pro-gun votes. >> host: front page of the daily news congress sells out with soft gun deal. >> guest: that's a tab lit headline. and that may be some sentiment. on the other hand, the brady senator, the mayors against illegal guns, a number of pro-gun control groups see this as a positive development in at least getting a vote to the floor of the senate you know, president obama after sandy hook proposed this package of gun control measures. recent in months you heard from president obama i want a vote. anything that makes a vote more likely. i think a lot of gun control groups can see as a positive development. >> host: gregory is our guest. congressional reporter for "usa today." the senate has just come in to
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session, reverend black is isn'tly giving the -- currently giving the invocation. we're going to keep an eye on the senate while we've live on the washington journal. we'll take it to you live. you can turn the senate on c-span2 if you're tired of our conversation here on the "washington journal." but first call coming from dominique in middletown,ny. republican line. go ahead, dominique. >> caller: yes. i would like to comment that, you know, while are all these democrats want to take our right away starting with the second amendment. it's dangerous. it started in 1968, and by what the -- all of that proposed legislation will do nothing to protect our children. it will do nothing at all. that's what gets me offended mostly. you need the police officers, maybe in plains clothe in every school. what gets me appalled, they protect airport, state court,
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federal buildings, federal judges, politicians with armed guards or homeland security. but our children are not being protected -- [inaudible] it's more powerful than the rounds they keep saying are assault weapons. [inaudible] much more powerful at 3u magnum. if a guy knows in a school now with a riffle and shoots forty kids in four minutes, he keeps reloading. what difference does it make? >> host: we have the point. >> guest: well, i think the caller points out some of the difficulty the congress is having in legislating in this area of, you know, all guns are different and trying to figure out the threshold that makes a rieflt an assault rifle. or how many rounds is too many when it comes to high capacity magazines. the caller from new york, the new york law that capacity at
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seven rounds. you can't have a magazine of more than seven rounds. manufacturers don't make seven-round clips or magazines. so the comprise was you can have a 10-round magazine but only put seven bullets in it. it's a tricky area to legislate in and congress is i think trying to find that right balance. >> host: senator reid is just introducing the senate as a open session. let's listen to a second and see what he's saying. >> from an automatic weapon. sprang bullets from the parking lot and in to ihop restaurant. it was packed for breakfast with customers. he killed four people instantly. wounded seven others. and he took his own life after that. that took 85 seconds. in those 85 seconds, five lives ended and countless more were altered forever.
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three nevada national guardsmen were on the way to work that morning. 31-year-old first class sergeant, 38-year-old sergeant first class christian, and 35-year-old major heath kelly. florence gunnedderson was eating breakfast with her husband was killed and murdered. in that 85 seconds, -- tucson fort hood, texas, colorado, and scores of other cities and towns in america . >> that's major leader reid on the senate floor. you can go to c-span2. we expect senator mcconnell, the minority leader to come out as well when senator reid is finished prior to all of this going on. he was talking about magazine high capacity magazine magazines it's one of the things offered. >> guest: we've heard a lot of
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these stories and we'll hear more while senators talk about specific instance of gun violence. what might have been done to prevent them. the caller from new york before talking about action rifles. i think the majority leader is making the case these are high capacity, high speed semiautomatic weapons that fire a large number of rounds in a short period of time of and can kill a lot of people. so you have assault weapons is part of the conversation, you have capacity magazine capacity, you know, how long do you have to shoot before you have to reload? these are all credible questions. each one will have two, several amendments each senator with the attempt to strike a balance. >> host: on the front page of "usa today" what has been proposed. th president's plan to reduce gun violence requires universal
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background check with common sense -- strengthens national instant criminal background check system by requiring better data from states and the draft senate gun bill. here is the president's proposal with the narrow exception from background checks and then wednesday's background check deal. closes loophole for gun show and internet sales but exemption friends and neighbor. the transaction allows state concealed carry permit in in lieu of background check, prohibit the government from maintaining a gun registry. pes spy -- specify that medical privacy law don't apply to mental health records in background check data base and reduces background check turn around time from three days to two years. in four years reduced to one day. are those going to be controversial?
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>> guest: they aren't getting much attention as some of the other ones. but that's a difficult area as well. the concern is from a lot of mental health groups you don't want to stigmatize mental health issues to the extend that people who do want to seek help don't because they're afraid they will second amendment right taken away. there are questions what kind of mental illness make themselves dangerous. once it gets to data base. the machin-toomey proposal said hipaa doesn't apply to the records. that's something that obama actually was trying to work on to regulation. but it can still be a difficult line to draw for congress. >> host: thomas in thomas river, new jersey. democrat, please go ahead. >> caller: hi.
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a -- [inaudible] make my statement. first of all, i'm paralyzed because i was shot 34 years ago. by somebody a child was playing with his father's gun. and another kid was killed a couple of days ago here. a 4-year-old shot a 6 yermd a ---year-old with a gun. any law that can be made whatsoever they can cut down on the -- [inaudible] because of the trauma goes on not only for the individual, not only to the families but the trauma to the country. because it pulls so many people away from -- [inaudible] from their responsibility other than their families. and also, not the cost. the cost for the country in dollars. talking about the big debt that is -- and nobody wants to talk about how much money it costs on the injuries with guns.
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100,000 people get shot every single year in our country. >> host: thomas, can you tell us what happened 34 years allege. >> yes. i was at my friends' house. he told me he had a gun. i was curious. i was 11 years old and i went over. he showed mt. gun and the gun went off by accident. i got shot in the head. i dedicated my life not -- i've been speakinged at schools for the past 21 years to talk about the thing that scares me the most. i ask the children how many of your parents own guns and lot of them half the kids raise their hands. and sky do they lock them up? many don't lock them because they tell their kids don't touch it. and that's a very, very irresponsible way of thinking. because -- [inaudible] >> host: thank you for sharing your personal experience. >> guest: yeah, -- all too well known story, and here's the
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tricky part. going detail whether the gun was legally owned. obviously it happened 34 years ago. it was prebackground check. would a background check have prevented his friends' parents from owning that gun if they were law-abiding citizens? at what point does personal responsibility in the ownership and storage of guns -- what role does it have to play? and so you will hear a lot of republicans over the next couple of days in the senate talk about how a background check would not necessarily implement it. see the rest of this discussion at c-span.org. live now to the remarks from the house speaker john boehner. >> the president released his budget yesterday, he's been talking recently i was hopeful. as we see many times now, hope is again become disappointment. the president calls this his comprise budget, but the bottom
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line is this. my away or the highway. if that's the case, i'm not optimistic. the president and i weren't able to reach an agreement last year because every offer he made was skyed -- skewed in favor of higher taxes. the opening offer was $1.6 trillion in new revenues. the final offer is $1.3 trillion. this budget would mean a total of $1.7 trillion in new revenues. it's not a comprise, it's a step backwards. and you can't portray a budget as a comprise when it ignores the spending problem here in washington. house and senate budget committees have looked at the numbers, and found that this plan only reduces a deficit by around $100 billion over the next ten years. it's just not serious.
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rather than cutting spending, this plan increases it by nearly a trillion dollars. i'll repeat, it increases spending by $964 billion over the current law. again, i don't think that is a serious effort in addressing washington's spending problem. the president's budget calls more than a trillion dollars in new tax revenue. beyond the tax hike -- again, it's not serious and will cost our economy more jobs. first of all, the budget never balances. never ever ever comes to balance. we have spent more money than we have taken in for 55 of the last 60 years. no business in america can survive like that, no household in america can survive like that, and our government can't survive if we continue to spend money we don't have. now all of this budget does is
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preserve the status quo. it's time to look at the cost drivers and stop the spending here in washington. now, i'm encouraged the president acknowledged that the safety net programs are unsustainable, but only offered modest reforms. they are modest. it's nothing close to what we need, in order to preserve the programs and put ourselves on a path to balance the budget. and still, it's a step back but he agreed to over a year and a half ago. so there's no reason we can't make incremental progress where where we can agree. that's why the president's take it or leave it approach is disappointings. he was a president himself who said, quote, when democrats and republicans agree on something it should be easy to get it done. let's agree to do what we all agree upon. ..
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and i expect this is the least we must do to begin to solve the problems and social security. >> would you called next year not to attack democrats -- >> the generally and i have had a conversation. >> now that the senate is moving
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forward do you commit to the house voting on the measure whether it is the senate bill or something else? >> i have them clear that the house would do it. the judiciary committee has had hearings, energy and commerce committee on the mental illness issue. and i would expect if the senate does move a bill i would send it to the judiciary committee for an open hearing and for their deliberations. it's why we have committee structure in the house. i believe the regular order is the appropriate way to move this bill. >> is this bringing something to the floor for a vote? >> i've never been for just a blanket commitment when i don't know what the product is. i expect the house will act on legislation in the coming months, but i want this to go through the order and the
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judiciary committee to take their time to look at whatever the senate does produce assuming they produce something and have numbers on both sides review that and make their determination. >> would use it to families calling for an up or down vote regardless if you support it or not, does that have an impact on this at all? >> our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these victims , and i fully expect that the house will act in some way, shape or form. but to make a blanket commitment without knowing what the underlying bill is i think would be irresponsible on my part. the senate has to produce a bill. if i make it clear they produce a bill we will review it and take it from there.
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>> it's been for 22 years i've been in congress and the thing we have to remember is from metal walls are only as good as the citizens willingness to abide by them. law-abiding citizens do of the buy them. criminals don't obey them. in addition to that, we have a system of laws that are not enforced today. i would think before we begin to add more rules and regulations, our law-abiding citizens that we least expect our law enforcement personnel and the department of justice to enforce the current law, which they are not doing. >> back in december when the president [inaudible] and yesterday he put it back on the table -- is your last offer to the president still on the
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table and would you be willing to make it public [inaudible] >> i don't know what the offer was. the president knows -- the president knows what needs to be done. he knows we can't continue to spend money we don't have. this year the federal government will bring in more revenue than any year in the history of the country, yet we will still have a trillion dollar budget deficit. we have a spending problem for. we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. there need to be some modifications. it's time for us to get serious about. >> [inaudible] >> i've never withdrawn it. i'm sure you are going to read all about it. [laughter] >> where you stand what do you think is the more important
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issue, emigration or gun control? >> are those the only two options? >> between those two. >> there are important issues the american people want us to address. yes the issue of guns is a hot issue today and so is the issue of immigration. i would argue one of the biggest challenges facing us is our long-term structural debt problem that's going to impress in the future of our kids and grandkids come it's hurting the economy today, the ability to get good jobs, holding down wages. there are a lot of things we need to deal with that we are going to hopefully do all of them. >> [inaudible] >> it was never able to begin with. certainly my prerogative or my intention is to always pass bills with strong republican
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support. >> will you come at to putting the entirety of immigration 32 destruction? >> there's a number of committees working on this now. how we will be considered there have been no decisions. that will go first. it's hard to gauge at this point. there is a lot of work being put into this and i am continuing to urge members on both sides of the to come together and address what i think is a very big issue in the country. >> when do you expect that we will see this? are the briefing you regularly? >> when they tell me they are ready. >> how do you see it playing out, how do you want it to play out and do you think that the prioritization is a solution or just like a backstop or where
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are you on that? >> we have the debt prioritization bill to get the treasury of the ability to make interest payments to make social security payments, and in some particular fashion. but our goal here is to put our spending on a sustainable path. it isn't too high default on our debt. the goal is to cut spending. and i have made clear that until we get the spending cuts and reforms it will put us on a path to balance the budget over the next ten years, and we are going to have fights. >> are you willing to have it turn out again? to service get to that level of suspense? >> i spent two and a half years focus on this one issue in a big way. and i think most of you understand my determination to get this government to deal
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honestly with our spending problem. i've watched the leaders before i got here kick this can down the road, take it down the road to the dice or to myself i wasn't going to do it and i'm not. >> house speaker john boehner on the president's budget and ask him become action where the lawmakers voted to move forward with the debate on gun control. if you missed any you can see it in the season and video library. go to c-span.org. coming up the week the legislative briefing with house minority leader nancy pelosi set for 2 p.m. eastern. we will have live coverage on c-span2. the senate returns in session fall on their joint caucus this afternoon. senators earlier today voting 683 koza 31 fupac
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the senate returning from recess at 2:30 we will have coverage. threats from north korea and other worldwide military challenges are the topic of the hearing was remarks from the director of national intelligence james clapper and cia director james brennan. here is a brief look. >> as far as objectives from the new leader, i think his primary objective is to consolidate and affirm his power, and much of
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the rhetoric of the bulge and rhetoric of late i think is designed for both internal and external audience. but i think first and foremost it's to show that he is firmly in control in what north korea. >> i don't think that really he has much of an endgame other than the to somehow illicit recognition from the world and specifically more importantly the united states, north korea is a rival on the international scene as a nuclear power, and that entitles him to negotiation and to accommodation, and presumably for aid. you asked about china.
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i think probably if anybody has a real leverage over the north koreans, it is china. china is under new leadership, and the indications that we have are that china is itself the bill the trent rhetoric. do you want to add to that? >> one thing i would add is he hasn't been in power all that long so we don't have an extended track record like we did with his fathers and grandfathers and that is why we are watching this very closely to see whether or not what he's doing is consistent to focus on what is going on in the region there. i think china has a vested interest in that stability as
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well and as has been pointed out more influence than anybody else >> that is a portion of the hearing today on a global threats. you can see the entire hearing in the c-span video library at c-span.org. a reminder that the house minority leader nancy pelosi bald her weekly legislative briefing in about 15 minutes at 2 p.m. eastern we will have it live. right now more on the president's budget, health care and gun control from today's washington journal. >> host: representative kevin brady republican of texas is on the screen chairman of detroit economic committee and members of the ways and means subcommittee. i want to start where we left off in the last segment and that's with a gun control debate. representative brady are you a gun owner? >> guest: i am not. >> host: you're not, why not? >> guest: i just made that choice. the dying in a state in texas, in a region where we have a great deal of respect for guns.
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we have i think probably one of the most i think sophisticated concealed handgun weapons approach, more than half a million texans have them. and it is a safe environment. i live at home out of montgomery county outside houston. i work up here in washington, d.c., which is in affect a gun-free community, or at least says so by law. i feel so much safer at home in texas than i do working here in washington. and it is another example i think where i think people have good intentions, but the laws they keep piling on without enforcing them doesn't make us safer. >> host: representative brady come you have a personal story when it comes to guns. what happened when you're 12-years-old? >> guest: my father was an attorney in a small town, took on a tough case for our small church. a gentleman, the other party threatened him and our family,
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and my mom actually had to learn to use a gun for safety. unfortunately, when the trial began, this gentleman in the courtroom shot and killed my father, his wife and the judge who survived thankfully. so i was 12 at the time. my mom raised five of us by herself. so we obviously know the impact of gun violence on families. and so yes, this is a tough issue. >> host: has that affected how you feel about the second amendment, and of the guns, background checks? >> guest: you know, in a sense from the standpoint of each issue can become personal quickly. i don't know the pain of losing a child. i do know the opposite of that, losing a parent. and also look at the effectiveness of these proposals. will they stop another shooting in a school or a movie theater or of a congresswoman?
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what make us safer and will it protect the second amendment rights? congress is in a rush to do something oftentimes results in doing something that doesn't work, and i think it violates for states like us, communities like ours. what we believe are very strong second amendment rights. >> host: look at some other issues and this is the lead editorial in the washington post. efforts to negotiate regarding the president's budget. far from perfect the budget president obama released wednesday represents the best hope for replacing sequestration with a bipartisan deficit reduction deal before the federal government hits its statutory borrowing limit in late summer
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>> guest: i don't think the president's budget coming this place after the house and the budget has been passed. it's more like arriving at the gate after the fight has already left and saying what i have a ticket, too. i am not sure it matters there. i think the test is does this help us avoid a second downgrade of our credit rating? i don't believe it does. well it curb the amount of debt our country has compared to the economy class it doesn't. but i think it does do is offer some points, some starting points at least to begin the real discussion, how we save social security and medicare for the long term i think that is critical to our investors in america and critical to our financial future. the president takes some baby
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steps, not nearly enough to save the most important programs that at least it's a point we can start discussing. >> host: he's also included new taxes in his budget proposal. >> guest: and those are dead on arrival. the president has had a trillion dollars of new taxes in his new health care law, another 600 billion, just several months ago, and so that part of balancing the budget is over the growth and spending restraint is really the key. i think the president knows that and i think one of the things that worries me is that he doesn't seem willing at this point, and maybe he will change to save social security and medicare for their own sake. those are important programs. adding, piling on new taxes unrelated to those programs. that's what makes it harder to save them and i think it is the wrong direction. >> host: in the house republican proposal, some of the savings that you all have proposed, 1.8 trillion is the
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savings from repeal of the health care law that was passed in 09. is that going to be repealed? >> guest: the president obviously made that very difficult to happen. we certainly want the budget to reflect our values, and as importantly, if you talk to the mainstream business is coming even larger businesses, the president's health care law, they fear and i believe it will drive up the cost of health care i think is one of the big drags on the economy today. and treat this, you know, this is the weakest economic recovery in 70 years. the road blocks for talked about all of the higher taxes in the president's budget is a new health care law. the real concern about the flood of regulations, and so i think until we can remove those roadblocks in the common growth we won't see it coming and more importantly it's so critical balancing the budget getting on the financial footing. >> host: as a member of the ways and means committee and
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chairman of the joint economic committee, what about tax reform is that active right now on capitol hill? >> guest: it is coming and i think the good news is that tax reform is alive and real. the ways and means committee is taking some significant steps including releasing the draft of reform, working groups to focus on critical areas. churn and bachus in the senate is taking similar steps, continuing discussions with the chairman, and so chairman kent's charge to us is to move complete real tax reform health of our committee this year, and we are on schedule. >> host: senator portman yesterday had some comments for the business community saying get on board with this and quit trying to protect you loopholes. >> guest: well, you know, it's natural to do that but since the different approach in that the business is small and large, meaty like family have just said
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enough is enough, this current code hasn't been overhauled in a generation and really needs to change fox. in the working groups that share of the energy working group, yes they're spent akaka discussion of key provisions that are critical to developing jobs in the energy sector but we will prioritize them and say the lower rate matters, the cost of capital matters. here's what works well. so since the business community being one of the drivers for fundamental reform. >> host: when you see a bill coming out of the ways and means? >> guest: the chairman has said the goal for doing so this year. and certainly the timetable on these working groups. >> host: would you say this summer? >> guest: i don't know as far as the month, but i know the rollout of the first redraft in tax reform have been well
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received. i think we will see more of that as well as the larger discussions. so if a lot of work is complex no question about it, publicly always difficult, but you've got to put the reform bill moving down the field. we are hopeful the senate and the president will join us and stay at the table so we can get it done. >> host: two more issues before we go to calls, congressman. greg walden breaks with party on the changed cpi. this is from politico. the top house republican campaign official broke with other leaders wednesday in criticizing president barack obama over his chained sepiolite proposal. during an interview on cnn, national republican congressional committee chair greg walden, republican of oregon, said obama was trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors with the plan, which could change the way social security cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. >> guest: i am convinced, i think, most lawmakers in
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washington know we can save social security once and for all this afternoon. everyone knows that we have to both overtime raise the eligibility age to 70 over the next three decades and make sure that the benefits are calculated on a true cost of living rather than wages. we do those two things, we essentially save that program. the bigger challenges on medicare, and that's why the republican budget focuses more on the medicare side of things because of some of the biggest drivers long-term. so you support the so-called change cpni? >> guest: i think there's a smarter way of tying the future benefits with future workers and changed cpi but let's at least have the discussion on what it takes to save the program. let's not talk it to the higher tax increases on small businesses over cigarettes or local energy workers. let's save social security and medicare.
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>> host: fun of another issue is for rolling in washington. it's because of immigration. what are your thoughts? >> guest: the issue was well overdue. it's time to solve this issue. i read the proposal seems to be when you close the back door of illegal immigration so we keep open the front door is broken. you know, one of those that believes the work force is flexible and can move forward in the economy to handle the next 100 years. i personally believe citizenship should be reserved for those who come through the front door of legal immigration, and i also think there should be a safe date on immigration reform where after a certain date, those who do enter try to enter the country through the backdoor or promptly returned, because if we
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don't, we are just going to repeat this problem 20 years down the road. >> host: representative kevin brady of texas is our guest and nancy on the republican line you are the first call. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i just want to make a few points in response to the man who was talking about yesterday's knife attack. first of all, timothy mcveigh did and half a knife and he killed 165 people and injured over 800. the 9/11 hijackers did not have guns, and also when you look at those two things, look at how much damage you can do without using a gun. plus i want to bring out that people don't really talking about the medications that all these schools shooters are taking. and i think that has a real big
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-- that's the problem right there because i have been on some of the medications, and i know what they can do to your mind. and that's what they were gone is the mind. when you take the mind of a child, that is just developing, and you put those drugs in your mind you don't know what it's going to do for them. >> host: representative brady? >> guest: i don't think it comes from sportsmen or hunting families, those that collect guns to those that have to have it for personal safety. excuse me. it's a broad issue than that and i think one of the biggest challenges, and this has become clear in new town in colorado with the shooting of congresswoman giffords we have to think what we have today very strict gun laws that are not being enforced, and second, we have huge gaps in the mental
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health system. we don't have the mental health system in america. while it is tough to do, we really ought to focus on how we can make sure, help people who are headed down this path with the mental illness and how we provide the resources to give them some health some help me for this occurs, and it is a big challenge to do that. >> host: donald you are on the washington journal. >> caller: good morning. i think that they are wasting time trying to pass the gun law bill. they need to focus more on jobs. i mean, children got killed but i really think that tragedy is going to have been. when you stop the punishment of
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kids, suspend them for getting in fights and stuff, that's not helping anything. the kids are getting out while their parents are at work, there's a lot of bullying going on. i think it is unnecessary for them to even think about. they just want to add another bill or make it hard for people that deserve to have a gun not to get one. >> host: thank you. representative brady? >> guest: we talk to our local teachers and kids in public schools, talk to the elementary schools, you know, they think of all the options. haven't local campus security like we have in junior high and high school would probably be helpful and might even detour someone from choosing a school
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in which to choose what is -- i don't even understand someone who would walk into a school and shoot little children for -- i do not understand that. but to the larger point, the economy really ought to be the focus of this congress and if we stay the course we are gone, i'm convinced right now we have a big growth gap was missing $4 million in the economy, a trillion dollars out of the economy that really get people back to work that ought to be the point that ought to be the focus. >> host: speaking of that, representative willson, democrat of florida was on the floor yesterday with a charge saying it think it was 453 days she's been here that no jobs bill has been passed by this congress. is there a jobs bill that the congress can pass that would mitigate this economy? >> guest: i don't think she has good math with those
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numbers. there's more than 30 separate jobs bills to really get people back to work. but we've not had any votes in the senate to actually deal with those issues. second, the gatt that we have today is the result if you listen to the businesses who want to high year but aren't coming previous year of new taxes and the president's health care loll whether you believe in it or you don't come i don't come it's having an impact on the economy. the amount of regulation coming out right now is almost unprecedented and that concerns them as well. but a bigger message is well washington did its financial house in order, that is in the back of their mind going forward so unless we address those roadblocks, we can have a stronger economy, and i also believe we can sort of prove the experts wrong who think our economy is permanently slow, that there is a new normal for
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the long-term that doesn't have to happen but we have to address that issue. >> host: how do you look at the current edemea of economic growth and then the stock market to which is nearing 15,000 points? >> guest: to words, federal reserve. the fed has propped a lot of money in this economy trying to trade a wealth affect both in the housing market and in the stock but if you look at average families at this point in the recovery, they should have and that about $3,500 of real and, for their households. this recovery is more than $400 million so the difference in the stock market and what families are saying is one of the drivers on why this economy isn't ready to back up nearly four years after the recession has ended, so to address what is happening in the real economy i don't stink we will see that growth. >> host: james come in defendant wind good morning. >> caller: you are talking out
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both sides of your mouth. you say you want that the medicare social security and medicaid and some people say they want it and you're saying you don't like it. also, george bush of the republican party had the house, the senate and the presidency a surplus. you blew the surplus and ran a record debt. you talk about paying for things that you have. why don't we raise taxes enough now to pay for this bill that we have left our kids candice war, this medicare and these tax breaks? it's not a single program that you have put into place such as medicare, medicaid, social security to help the majority of american people. all you people do is get out there and try to bring up issues like abortion and the side of issues regulations come it's not
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stopping wall street. wall street has record profits. its huge -- >> host: james, when you say you people are you referring to republican for congress in general? ki is gone. we will never know for sure. >> guest: he was just getting on a roll. to perhaps the first point, you know, i don't think that you can tax this country back to a balanced budget. i ask james would you be willing to double your taxes, what everyone in america be willing to double your taxes to balance the budget the answer would be even as we did we still would be running a deficit in this nation. you literally cannot tax our way back to balance the budget. you have to have a much stronger economy than we do today and you have to retain spending including looking at common sense ways to save social security and medicare for the long term. that's the balance in tackling the tougher challenges to the that's how we get to the
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financial house in order and more importantly the end of the curve. our debt is to the point that it is a drag on the economy. >> host: it was yesterday the president introduced his budget. here he is at the white house. >> the budget also contains the compromise i offered speaker boehner at the end of last year including reforms championed by republican leaders in congress. and i don't believe that all of these ideas are optimal but i am willing to accept them as part of a compromise. , and only if they contained protections for the most vulnerable americans. but if we are serious about deficit reduction, then these reforms have to go hand-in-hand with reforming our tax code to make it more simple and more fair so that the wealthiest individuals and the biggest corporations cannot keep taking advantage of loopholes and deductions that most americans don't get. that's the bottom line.
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if you are serious about deficit reduction, then there is no excuse to keep these loopholes opened. they don't serve an economic purpose, they don't grow our economy, they don't put people back to work. all they do is tell folks who are already well-off and well-connected to gain of the system. if anyone thinks i will finish the job of destin this -- deficit reduction on middle class families are spending cuts alone to hurt the economy's short-term they should think again when it comes to deficit reduction i've already met republicans more than halfway in the coming days and weeks i hope that republicans will come forward and demonstrate that they are as serious about the deficits and the debt as they claim to be. >> host: representative? >> guest: i would love to see the president sent a free tax reform proposal. he's had for years. the clock is ticking and we would love to see him join in that effort because we believe,
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also like the president we ought to close loopholes in the tax code that we believe you ought to do it to lower tax rates for everybody, families and businesses of all sizes, not close them to spend more money in washington. that's probably the main difference between us and the president and second, i don't see significant reforms in the president's budget on medicare, which i think is depressing challenge for this country, and i think we face a second downgrade of our credit rating soon if we don't this summer come together on a plan for long-term financial stability i really think the clock is ticking. it's not something that we've done a year or two from now. >> host: with these budget proposals out there, do you foresee this summer the congress passing a budget and then the president signing one?
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>> guest: i don't i would like to believe we could with this huge differences of how we get this country, how we move the country forward. what i do see perhaps if the president would actually focus on social security and medicare to save them for their sake rather than tied to extraneous tax increases or other social programs, i actually think we could come up with a plan that puts us on the right path for the long term. what is he serious about coming to the table we don't know, but let's hope so. >> host: do you see another continuing resolution passed on september 40 of? >> guest: i hope not. this is no way to run a railroad and it does not reflect the priorities of this country. we get stuck in budgets from four or five years ago. i do think though the model used recently isn't from crisis to crisis put out proposals early
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such as putting together the budget funding for the rest of the year is done without a lot of trauma drawn on and on time. the debt ceiling issue approaching as later this summer we have an opportunity. the house is going to move now and put its priorities in place in the senate what do they agree or not we are going to move now and early to reassure people america will pay its debt but to reassure investors and those watching we are serious about tackling our problems. >> host: has sequestration affected your district? >> guest: it hasn't and in fact we talked in our town hall meetings we do a lot of them, people just sort of kind of laughed when we talk about a 500 lb government being forced to lose 10 pounds. people know it's just a small step. they are upset that it looks like the white house is choosing to inflect political pain on the
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community such as closing local air-traffic towers but for the most part, they think it is a small but important step in the right direction. >> host: was it a political victory for republicans? >> guest: i think it helped reassure americans that we were serious about making some small but important steps in the right direction locking those lower levels in was important as well and the funding going forward but i still think the public is skeptical that both parties have the political courage to get this job done. i believe we do as republicans we have already laid out courageous steps on medicare, especially on medicaid as well to solve those. the president is willing to take small steps. maybe that's the beginning.
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>> host: representative kevin brady of the joint economic committee and wallace is a republican in dallas. >> caller: good morning mr. brady and thank you for taking my call. i am an ex police officer retired military member of the nra and i collect smith & wesson revolvers. my comment for the representative is that i am very leery when the government starts talking about protecting my rights by passing are proposing to pass another bill or law. i'm 75 and i've seen a steady continuous erosion of our second amendment rights, and i believe sincerely this is what the democrats have wanted all along a so-called closing of the gun show loophole which is nothing of the kind. from god for people like mr. brady and our texas
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representatives that are fighting to keep our rights intact. it was basically all i had was just a comment. thank you. i appreciate your time. >> guest: i appreciate that and i think the point you're making as criminals don't buy their guns at gun shows. they don't buy them from licensed dealers. they steal them and take them from others. they get others to buy them for them and give them to them illegally. we have extremely strong penalties on the books and they are certainly not aggressively in the number of the violations that we see in the thousands verses the prosecutions and convictions literally in the dozens until we get serious about that enforcement we see what we hope is to keep those guns out of those illegal the and can no longer own them.
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>> host: should they be extended to from sales and a gun shows? >> guest: they are. today the only ones that sell guns legally are those that adding to collections and private sales. so i believe 90% of gun purchases actually accord with the background check. again because criminals don't buy the guns through the legal process, this won't prevent unfortunately another tragedy like we've seen. >> host: darryl says representative brady come and you say we can't tax our way out of debt. can we cut our way out of debt? >> guest: there has to be way to generate revenue. if last year our economy was back up to where it was before the recession hit, our deficit would have been cut in half, it wouldn't have been 1.1 trillion, it would have been half of that. if we get this economy going
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again and balance it with spending restraint, that's the key and we create a bunch of jobs while looking for families in the process. >> host: would you be open to any tax increases at this point? >> guest: i don't see the purpose or the need for them. the president has on $.26 trillion tax increases already in his pockets, and so that clearly isn't getting us back to a balanced budget because none of the spending or none of the taxes went to the deficit reduction. they all went by the government spending. that is the problem. we think again strong economy, balance restraint on spending gets us to where we need to be. >> host: beverley tweets social security at age 70, companies don't keep people employed at that age. is washington betting that we don't make it to 70? >> guest: i absolutely not. over the next 30 years life expectancy will continue to grow
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with our young people. people are frankly choosing to work because their lifestyles are stronger. they are healthy and they want to. to continue to keep social security available to those as you do today, and said it isn't a major change. in fact, we already have social security 67 today. and so, over the next three decades as our young people's life expectancy rose, it makes sense. >> host: dayton ohio democrat, please, go ahead. >> caller: yes, and not a proud a democrat at that. i am sitting here listening to congress entertain when in fact we have the border patrol agent killed with guns that have been confiscated by the dea. conagra said the end of the month should turn their checks back then because you are not
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doing your job. what do you say on that? >> guest: you know, this has been one of the number of troubling instances we have seen in this administration. fast and furious was a mirror and responsible program that resulted in the death of a u.s. federal agent. we have tried so hard in the congress to get to the bottom of that and we have been stonewalled along the way. there continues to be a content case against the general. if the white house believes in that program to be open and honest about who approved it and apply it occurred, so from the house standpoint i think from some republicans in the senate as well, we still want to get to the bottom of this issue, not just for the country but for the families. >> host: tom keller tweets do you support the fair tax and the
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abolition of the irs? >> guest: i do. from the ways and means committee, let me tell you i think having a much simpler tax no high gear than 25%, of the reform we are doing today is a great step in the right direction. if you really want to jump-start the economy, and really focus on consumption, which i think is the right level and the right way to tax versus tax in people's wages, their investments from their hard work, and i actually think that would be long term. it's pretty bold right now the truth of the matter is we have a lot of people who are not yet convinced that that is the right approach to go. so we are going to continue to educate lawmakers and america as well. >> host: callis the speaker during with regards to leadership? >> guest: you know, i think well many because of this. he's taken a great amount of time, both in this session and last in working with a lot of
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new lawmakers to leave out the strategy is in advanced come to get their input in exactly the strategies, and to find a way where we can lead with 218 votes in the house. i think putting the debt ceiling that to all best, i think the sequestration battle which clearly we have one, and then the funding for the rest of the year that locked in the lower levels is a good indicator of his leadership. >> host: when you hear the administration officials say we have to cut here because all says so, do these cabinets have flexibility in how they spend their money? >> guest: of course they do. i think they choose when to have flexibility, and they choose when not to. the sequestered they chose not to.
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it's a conscious choice not to inflict pain on the public and also reversing the sequester. health and human services created an 800 billion-dollar program to fund medicare advantage plans that didn't exist. it wasn't involved, the money wasn't there, it was created of course the white house says huge flexibility on where these cuts occur. >> host: tweets into your cutting grand mosque b5 of care to maintain taxes for the rich. it makes no sense. >> guest: that is a bumper sticker and it's inaccurate. in fact right now social security disability goes bankrupt in four years. medicare itself such a critical program for all parents the clock is ticking. that is a decade away before it was bankrupt. the only action that actually jeopardize as medicare and social security is to continue to ignore the financial trouble
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of those programs and refuse to act together. it's going to take republicans and democrats. we can do it that it has to happen now and it has to happen this summer. >> host: from we've early new york its data from the independent line on washington journal. >> caller: first my condolences and prayers for the people of connecticut. on gun control we just don't understand where this is headed and what they think they are going to do. i'm an instructor for over 22 years and things have gone awry. i don't understand. i tried to buy a gun a couple months ago for my granddaughter to a turkey hunting and the third time in my life they put me on hold. you wait for three days, they never called back. the sporting goods store gives you an envelope to send it to the criminal justice information center, three years later i
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still haven't heard anything back. as far as handguns go, and you know, they are still handwritten ledgers, they are not even computerized, so no one knows where it's going. in another thing, even if you close every gun manufacturer, dealership, anything coming you are never, ever going to stop criminals from getting handguns. >> host: we will leave it there. >> guest: the plan has been weld made it to read whether we have the ban on assault weapons it didn't stop the violence in the communities like washington, d.c., chicago where there's a complete ban and you can't even buy a gun in those communities. violence is very high and sometimes higher than the rest of the country. i know that it's
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well-intentioned, but the government tends to punish those that didn't break the law in order to try to stop those or at least say cosmetically that they've tried to stop those that try to do this illegally. it's a bigger issue than the same old political wall but that we continue to debate up here. >> host: jack tweets to you, congressman, do you support selling off government assets such as the tennessee valley authority there is an article this morning. >> guest: i do. i think when you look at what is the role of government that we don't need to play, and more importantly how do we actually begin to shrink this deficit by cutting wasteful spending and selling off assets properties the government no longer needs this makes sense and if you look at how other countries that got themselves in financial trouble, how they got themselves back out of it, this is one of the
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behaviors they took the actions they took which is to privatize with the government shouldn't be, getting rid of the properties and assets that frankly the government doesn't need. >> host: burch, columbus georgia republican. >> caller: how are you all doing thank you for taking my call. i was just wanting to ask the question about a term that we used to use. what happened to the term lock box? you pay into social security, and they take the money and they put it in a social security fund, but it keeps getting wages, and another example of that is the post office, the post office has been in a pretty good position if the congress or the federal government would quote freezing their balance. it seems like if you take the money that you are getting and
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spending it for what you are getting we are going to borrow it for social security to pay the special and then we are going to put it back in their leader on. if i ran my household like that, i would never get my mortgage paid, utilities paid and my car loans paid. >> host: bert, thank you very much. >> guest: common sense in that call. we needed a lot box in this country about 40 years ago when bill law was changed in congress and presidents began dipping into that surplus. there is no surplus, in effect last year america had to bar a roughly $150 billion from investors to sign up from the federal reserve from others around the world just to pay our social security just to make sure hour seniors got the benefit that they worked so hard
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for this year, next year, in fact social security will never see a surplus again unless we take some steps to actually save that program for the long haul. but the other point the gentleman makes is great. why doesn't the government used the money they collected for incentive purposes we have a lot of programs around america in the government where we collect dollars, for example, for maintaining our harbors and forced the waterways those moneys get devoted to other uses meanwhile we have a huge -- >> we will leave this at this point from this morning's washington journal and go live to capitol hill to hear from house minority leader nancy pelosi. >> tomorrow marks the 100 the day of the 113th congress, and i believe the first 100 days the republicans deserve an f for failing america's families, no jobs, obstruction, manufactured
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crisis. consider the republican report card, no jobs, democratic budget begins with an initiative on growth with jobs. obstruction which has been blocking the debate on the democratic proposals. perhaps some of you at the press conference yesterday mr. hoyer advance to the naked america initiative with legislative proposals. many of them made by the newest members of congress, members of the freshman class. that initiative make it in america creates jobs by strengthening the manufacturing base, and vesting in innovation and of bringing jobs, and having solutions for small businesses and the middle class. yesterday was also equal pay date. today members are lining up to sign the discharge petition for the pay equity act. we know that it's officially
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called the paycheck fairness act introduced by congresswoman rosa delauro who's been relentless on this issue from lee ledbetter to every initiative for fair pay for women. we all believe, as does she, that when women are paid fairly, our economy and the nation prosper. paycheck fairness act members are lined up now to sign the discharge possession. this year is the 50th anniversary of when president kennedy signed the equal pay act. so, we want to see how far we've come and how much farther we have to go. also today we are seeing information about the president's budget. it's a balanced approach to create jobs and responsibly reduce the deficit. it's a compromise measure providing call compromise measures, there are some things in there that everybody doesn't
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love, but in this budget for job creation, infrastructure, surface transportation and other java initiatives so that young people, early childhood and lifetime earnings. nothing brings more money to the federal treasury than the education of the american people to lifetime learning and everything in between. higher ed, lifetime learning, and that's what this bill budget is about. education and training from early childhood to lifetime learning ensures that all 4-year-olds have access to quality preschool, fully funded pell grants to support state efforts to tackle college costs and reorganize the initiatives to make this all more effective what's the sequester? it eliminates sg are by e
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eliminating with protecting seniors access to doctors, seniors on medicare to be the republican budget by contrast continues to destroy jobs, solves our economic recovery and ms the medicare guarantee. we are calling on the speaker to appoint the conferees the house and senate have passed budgets. let's go to congress and do it in a transparent way so the public can see the choices that are there to the americans want us to work together to solve problems. this is the way we can do that. we can lift the sequester and find common ground to create jobs, grow the economy and build a strong writing middle class. but we need to appoint conferees in order not to obstruct that have to economic growth.
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the good news today is that the senate and strong bipartisan vote 68 to 31 voted to move forward on gun violence prevention legislation addressing background checks as you know, gun trafficking and a proposal for school safety. so that's all a good thing to the it is about guns and the budget. you don't notice but when when we were in college was guns and the bader and mattocks guns and a budget -- now its guns and a budget. i would be pleased to take questions. >> it's being used to the reason why action needs to be taken now. can you explain how the legislation would have prevented this? >> when you say newtown it's important to note that about 4,000 people have died by gun
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violence since newtown. no question about it it tore up the heart of the american people and challenge our conscience to do everything in our power to prevent gun violence. the legislation that is moving forward in a senate, and hopefully we will have something similar in the house is about background checks, which i think would have been very important. ending of a gun trafficking to keep guns out of the hands of people, all of that, and issued initiatives for school safety. i think if you just want to focus on one thing, initiatives for school safety might have protected those children a lot better. how can we ever not act upon the
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killing of 20 little children around 6-years-old for similar situations and gun violence in our country by having a responsible, responsible background checks and responsible gun ownership and the precautions taken to prevent it from happening again. but, again it is a tall order. >> you can watch this online at c-span.org. the senate earlier today approved 68-31 to the date gun-control legislation. we return to the floor now. they've been on a two-hour recess
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mr. murphy: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: i come down to the floor for the second time today and i think maybe the fifth time over the last two days to talk again about the real reason that we're here on the floor of the united states senate this week and next week talking about the scourge of gun violence across this country and victims.
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we've had a good week this week on the floor of the united states senate, a breakthrough on the matter of background checks, an agreement that we hope can forge the basis after bill next week, an agreement that maybe doesn't move us as far as some of us would like in terms of making sure that criminals don't have guns in this country but moves us very far down the line towards a day when no criminals can go onto the streets of this country with guns, and then a very positive vote today in which democrats and republicans joined together to break a threatened filibuster to get to the floor. but these are the kids that we're really they're talk b and i know there's a colleague on the floor to seek recognition, but i wanted to come down before the week was over just to talk about a few more victims, just to make sure that we are really clear about who and what we're talking about here. let me talk about a few more
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victims from newtown. let me tell you about chase kowalski, one of the six and seven year olds killed by at sandy hookment will century school. he was an athlete, much like jack pinto, who i talked about yesterday, choice was a young jock. he had actually completed and won a kids' triathlon in mansfield, connecticut. he was six years aid old and coe ccompeted and won. he was so inspired watching the olympics last year that he decided he was going to learn how to swim and do it competitively. so he taught himself thousand -- so you taught himself how to swim. he became a swimmer as well. his parents and his surviving two older sisters in honor of
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chase's love for sports ran together, a lot his friends and family did, ran together in a sandy hook 5-x run that attracted thousands of people to the streets of harvard. chase kowalski could have done a lot of things. he had this drive and initiative that you don't find in a lost kids that are only seven years old. chase was seven, excuse me -- i may have said six -- had he died. he was a pretty remarkable young boy. jesse louis, right here on this poster, his father is here this week arguing, pleading for us to do something. jesse was a pretty amazing kid in his own right. he was six years old. and the evening before the tragedy, he and his father had actually been out shopping for christmas presents for his friends and family.
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and in fact one of the gifts they were going out to get the night before was for his teacher vickivickie soto. he was 37 dollars that he had earned by helping his father. that was jess civility he wanted to do nice things for pome but he wanted to earn the right to do t it wang the first time he had gone out and basically earned the money at six years oasmed he was still a kid, grew up 0en a farm. he loved horses and dogs and chicks and he liked to go out and fish and play soccer and his dad was always outside working on projects and he always wanted to be with his dad neil. he was a pretty amazing kid with a lot of initiative and drive for a six-year-old and we'll never really know who he was going to grow up to be either. but the reality is that i've talked about on this floor over the last two days, though so
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much of the attention is on those 20 kids, 3,300 people have died since newtown. that's where our focus should be as well, on people like brian herrera, who was 16 years old, a straight-a student at miami jackson senior high school, and three days before christmas of of last year -- this is only just about a week after the newtown shootings -- brian was riding his bike to his best friend's house to work on a school project. he was doing what he should have done, going to a friend's house to work on a school project. and he was gunned down in the middle of the daylight. he was still carrying his red backback. this was just a totally random shooting and police -- i'm not sure if this has been solved, but at the time the police had no idea why this had happened. but there are so many guns out on the streets today, many of
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them illegal guns because we don't have a gun trafficking law, we don't have good background checks law, that these things happen. or somebody like jeremy lee cay- jeremy lee cahoun, one of five brothers. his father had just lost his wife. he was a native of stockton, california, an ironworker. he was also cheerful and smiling. jeremy was killed by gun violence and he left behind a 3-year-old son. a 3-year-old son. this is just in february of this year. madam speaker, every single day 30 people in this country die from gun violence. you can't even see the differentiation between the little figurines in this chart because it happens so often. and i've been coming down to the
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floor, not to hold time but to just try to remind my colleagues here of who we're really talking about, and the fact that what we're proposing to do next week really will make a difference. if you want to get all of these illegal guns off the street, then you have to do something about it. it is ridiculous that we don't have a federal law that bangs gun traffic. it is not okay that four out of ten guns had this country are sold without background checks. you shouldn't be able to walk into a school or church with a 100-round drum of ammunition. we are not going to wipe gun violence after the face of the earth. but we've got to remember these victims. we've go to remember the jeremys, the jesses, the brians, and the charlotte charlottes and lins and all of these people who have lost their lives. we can certainly make sure that three months from now, four
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months from now this chart is a little bit smaller. we have the ability do that. and so i know there are other speakers on the floor who are seeking time today so i'll take my leave again, but i'll be back next week. i will a be back with other stories of victims from connecticut to colorado to tucson to new york city to chicago to miami, so that as we move into maybe the most critical week on the floor of this body with respect to the debate on gun violence in decades that we are really sure about who we're talking about and about the difference that we can major i yield back the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: thank you, madam president. i rise today to speak about the budget proposal released at long last yesterday. tardy as this budget may be and despite our differences in opinion, i welcome the president's ideas to begin
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addressing our nation's fiscal crisis and runaway spending. unfortunately, though, i am disappointed that this budget amounts to more taxes, more spending, more debt. the president's budget calls for $1.1 trillion more in taxes on top of the $660 billion in tax hikes the president already demanded and won as part of the fiscal cliff deal enacted at the beginning of the year before i arrived in washington. that's a grand total of $1.8 trillion in tax hikes before we add in another trillion-dollar tax from obamacare. yet despite all of this new so-called revenue, the president's budget would never balance. no amount of taxes will ever begin to address our nation's $17 trillion debt. but taxes aren't the only
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problem with the president's budget. there's also a trillion dollars in new spending. we tried that in 2009. it didn't work then and it won't work now. to spend more, we have to borrow more. the president's budget would add $8.2 trillion in new debt over the next ten years. of particular concern to farmers, ranchers and small businesses in nebraska is a proposed hike in the death tax. under the fiscal cliff deal reached at the beginning of this year, the death tax was set at 40% with an exemption per state of -- per estate of $5 million indexed for inflation. this is already an increase from 2011 and 2012, when the death tax rate was 35%. the president's budget, however, would hike that rate further, to
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45%, while also diminishing the exemption per estate to $3.5 million. this disregards the bipartisan will of congress. the senate has repeatedly supported a lower death rate and a higher exemption. just three weeks ago, 80 senators, myself included, supported an amendment seeking to repeal or at least reduce the death tax. instead, the president's death tax proposal would result in a $72 billion tax hike. this would be particularly harmful to family farmers and ranchers in my state of nebraska and across our nation. on average, more than 80% of the value of a family-owned farm or ranch is derived from land,
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buildings, and equipment. following the death of a loved one, families often must sell part or even all of their land or property to pay that death tax bill. yet these are illiquid assets which rarely receive their assessed value on the open market, leaving families to take cents on the dollar in order for them to keep that farm or ranch. each day farmers and ranchers across nebraska and across this great country of ours rise well before dawn only to retire well after dark. after building a successful enterprise, family farmers and ranchers should be able to pass along the fruits of their labor to their children. instead, the president's budget proposal would reward this lifetime of hard work with a
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higher tax bill. i will proudly cosponsor legislation to be introduced soon by senator john thune to permanently repeal the death t tax. absent a full repeal, i will continue fighting to ensure that family farmers, ranchers and other small businesses escape as much of the brunt of the death tax as possible. this is not to say that i disagree with every aspect of the president's budget. medicare and social security are both on the path to insolvency. i appreciate that the president sees this unsustainable path and has offered concrete proposals to reform these programs. without action, seniors and beneficiaries will see steep cuts in benefits from medicare by 2024 and social security by
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2033. while these cuts will not come overnight, neither will the solutions we need to keep the promises we've made to our seniors and those nearing retirement. this is a first step in what will be and, quite frankly, what needs to be a prolonged, well-reasoned debate. i look forward to working with the president in good faith to reform and save these critical programs. i also appreciate the president's desire for revenu revenue-neutral corporate tax reform. the devil, of course, is in the details. i have great reservations that the president's proposal would basically redistribute tax preferences instead of doing more to bring down what is the highest corporate income tax rate in the world.
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and i believe that we should not merely do this on the corporate side but reform our entire tax code on a revenue-neutral basis in order to unleash the economic growth of our country. these are areas where we can work together and i'm eager to do so. but higher taxes, higher spending, and higher debt are not the answer to the fiscal challenges that our nation faces. madam president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, madam president. i want to join other colleagues in thanking the senators who supported us in the vote earlier today, my profound thanks to all who voted among the 68 to enable this debate to go forward, to provide and permit for debate and votes in coming days and to enable the families of newtown to have a vote, to enable the victims of tucson and virginia
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tech and aurora and oak ridge to have a vote. voting is what we are sent here to do and the american people hold us accountable when we have votes, and votes enable us to be held accountable. and those votes will take place. the vote today is exciting and encouraging and energizing but it is only a first step. and the critical test and profoundly significant steps will be next week when we vote, first on the bipartisan compromise that our colleagues have fashioned, senators manchin and toomey, have together forged on national criminal background checks. not necessarily as strong as many of us might have preferred, not a final or ultimate result on this issue for all time, but
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a solid foundation and a path forward to enable more bipartisan compromise, more momentum and impetus. and the brave families from newtown who were part of this discussion this week deserve our thanks as well. they turned the tide. they faced our colleagues in meetings visit after visit, conversation after conversatio conversation -- painful, demanding, grief stricken in recalling those hours after that horrific, unspeakable tragedy. as one who arrived there within hours of the shooting, i saw first their unimaginable pain and grief as they came out of
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the sandy hook firehouse learning for the first time that their babies would not return, loved ones, teachers, educators perishing while trying to save toes children in their care -- those children in their care. those families came to washington to tell their stories and advocate for change so others would be spared that same experience, so that others would be saved from the same fate as those 3,300 who have died since newtown and the horror that they have experienced and their families. just four months ago, the conventional wisdom was that gun violence legislation would never go anywhere in the united states congress. in fact, gun violence was politically untouchable. just four days ago, 60 votes was thought to be unreachable as a goal. the fact of the matter is that the political landscape is changing seismically as we speak
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here, as we deliberate. minds are changing, voices are piercing that conventional wisdom, and the courage and compassion of the newtown families have disproved and completely defeated the pundits, the conventional wisdom, the prognosticators who said it couldn't be done. the world watched that tragedy on december 14 in newtown and i said on that evening at the vigil at st. rose of lima church, the world is watching newtown. indeed, the world watched newtown. and today the world watched the united states senate as it took this historic and for many of our colleagues a courageous and brave step. today we kept faith with those
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families and the victims of that tragedy in a first step to finally do something about gun violence. and now we must continue worki working, taking nothing for granted, avoiding complacency and confidence, because every step is uphill when it comes to gun violence. i want to thank particularly two of my colleagues, joe manchin and pat toomey, because they stepped forward from states that may not be as receptive to what they have done as others, but they deserve the thanks and gratitude of their states in their statesmanship in supporting and forging this compromise. i will continue to support and work for a truly universal
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background check system. but this bipartisan compromise represents significant progress. it's a vast improvement over current law. it will make sure that a lot fewer criminals get their hands on guns. it will make our streets and schools safer on the morning of september 14, i along with senator murphy pledged that i would do everything i could to make sure that more parents will not have to bury their children because of preventible gun violence, and expanded background checks are part of that pledge, and we are helping to fulfill it by supporting it. and they are only part of a big more comprehensive solution to this problem, but this compromise is a good starting point for next week's debate on gun violence. we have talked a lot about newtown and about the victims
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there who have evoked our most powerful grief, breaking our hearts, evoking memories of our own children at that age. and as i said, i went to newtown as a public official, but what i saw was through the eyes of a parent. other victims with loved ones evoked the same memories, and i want today to evoke the memory of another tragedy that many of us in connecticut remember well. it happened at the hartford distributors, just outside of hartford on a beautiful morning, august of 2010 -- august 2. and a lot of what i'm going to
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summarize here comes from straight newspaper account that appeared in the "hartford current" shortly afterward. as the current reported, in three minutes on that bright summer morning the shooter there, omar thornton, executed eight men, including himself. shooting them all from behind and laughing at one point as he chased down a wounded victim. he went into a kitchenette near the office saying he wanted a drink of water. he pulled a pistol from his lunch pail and shot operations director lewis if he if he feld. one of the witnesses said he heard felder yell, omar you can't followed by a loud bang.
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as he crawled into his father's office -- hartford distributors is owned by a family, the hollander family -- he heard another employee yell, omar, no. thornton shot him twice, once in the back of the head and once in the forehead. he systematically executed another six after those two, and then killed himself. the victims that day were men who came to work every day, working men who had families. they came to work expecting to come home at the end of the day. their families expected them to come home. they were men who had worked in that place for many years, by
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dint of their sweat and backbreaking labor,dom a place in -- come to place in life where they could enjoy it. they had enough financial security that they expected to enjoy it for some time and the killer that day deprived them of their futures, and their families as well. gun violence affects all of us in different ways. and i have visited the memorial that was established for the brave men who died that day at hartford distribute tor. it is a quiet, peaceful place. exquisitely and beautifully done. and it evokes memories of men who died while they were on the job because of a deranged individual who was in fact about to be fired.
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connecticut's experience with this kind of death extends to its own facilities. the state lottery experienced a similar horrific, brutal slaying played out in seconds that seemed to take an eternity on a friday morning, routine for dozens of state lottery office workers, turning that morning into a nightmare of blood, fear, and betrayal. the shooter was named matthew beck, and he summarily executed men and women there that day. connecticut remembers those employees, state employees who provided public service day in and day out, and were killed while they were at work. again, working men and women who wanted nothing more than to go
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home safely that night. my colleague, chris murphy, has recounted many stories, many of them children; almost all of them with futures ahead that were ended brutally and horrifically because of gun violence. we have taken a step today, a first step, hopefully followed by others next week. and i want to end today by again thanking members of this chamber for giving us the opportunity to debate and vote and say to the american people, we are willing to be held accountable. the majority of american people want commonsense, sensible measures to end the violence on the streets, in our
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neighborhoods, and in our places of work, like heart for the distributors and the state lottery, where hardworking men and women come to their jobs, playing by the rules, expecting fairness, and the opportunity to go home at night. and i want to thank this chamber, the members who voted today and i hope will join us in the future in making sure that fewer victims perish as a result of this horrific epidemic in our country of gun violence. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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